tv CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley CBS October 10, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
>> pelley: tonight, the supreme court hear an historic case on race in america. the argument today: can race be a factor in college admissions? wyatt andrews is in the court, anna werner is in texas where the case began. the state department tells congress security was adequate the day the u.s. consulate in libya was attacked. >> we had the correct number of assets in benghazi. >> pelley: sharyl attkisson is on capitol hill. officials say lance armstrong's team ran the most sophisticated doping program cycling has ever seen. armen keteyian on the evidence. and steve hartman "on the road" with the power of a uniquely american song. >> when you hear the first note, everything in our house comes to a complete halt. everything in our house comes to a complete captioning sponsored by cbs
this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. >> pelley: good evening. people waited outside overnight just for the chance to be inside the supreme court today for the most controversial case of this term. at stake: admission to college for millions of americans for generations to come. a decade ago, the court ruled that race could be used as a factor granting college admissions. but today, a new supreme court heard a challenge to that which could change the law of the land on affirmative action. wyatt andrews was in the court today. >> reporter: abigail fisher was denied admission to the university of texas, she says, because of admission policies that favored less-qualified minorities. her simple argument is to stop using skin color in college admission. >> i hope the court rules that a student's race and ethnicity should not be considered when applying to the university of texas.
>> reporter: the u.t. entering class is among the most diverse anywhere, roughly 50% white and 50% minority. by law, the school has to admit the top 10% of every high school class, regardless of race. but u.t. also uses what's called "holistic review," where race is separately considered with other factors, including leadership and family income. the university says that's legal under a 2003 ruling from justice sandra day o'connor. it allowed colleges to use race to find a critical mass of underrepresented minority students. but the court's conservative justices repeatedly asked when does the use of race end? liberal justice sonia sotomayor, defending affirmative action, asked: the university's lawyer, greg garre, said u.t. doesn't have a
number for achieving diversity. he said that is a judgment call. >> and the university is looking foremost to whether or not it has an environment in which african americans or hispanic students don't feel like spokespersons for their races. >> reporter: abigail fisher's lawyer, bert rein, calls college diversity important but not if it discriminates. >> the absence of equal protection was a sin in this country for a long, long time, and we're simply trying to say those rights belong to everybody. >> reporter: several of the justices seem conflicted about that 2003 decision that allows the use of race to achieve college diversity. the author of that decision, sandra day o'connor, was watching these arguments in the courtroom. scott, either way, the future of affirmative action at hundreds of colleges and universities is now in play and riding on this decision. >> pelley: wyatt, as you mentioned, enrollment at the university of texas is nearly 50% white, about 18.5% hispanic, 15% asian and 4.5% black. anna werner found that on the campus, opinions are divided.
>> and this is the famous photo. >> reporter: heman sweatt's great uncle went on to become the first african american student to graduate law school in 1950. >> you had to leave the state of texas to become a lawyer. >> reporter: he changed that? >> yes, he did. >> reporter: the sweatt family urged the supreme court to allow u.t. austin to consider race. university president bill powers told us he needs to look at race for the sake of diversity. >> what did this person achieve, given their entire background, taking into account that we want an ethnically diverse class. >> reporter: what would happen if you left race out of that equation. >> we would not have the kind of diversity that is essential for providing an educational experience for all of our students to prepare them for the
world they're going out to work in. >> reporter: journalism student cheyenne matthews-hoffman was admitted through that process. >> u.t. at the moment has, like, 4.5% african american students with race considered. that's a really small portion of students here, and it is kind of alienating when you don't have a lot of students on campus that look like you. >> reporter: students have differing views. angus mcleod is a senior. >> when you're taking a class on black literature and there's not a single black student in the class it-- it can be kind of a depressing experience. you lose an interpretation and a view on what you're reading, what you're studying that would be really helpful otherwise. >> reporter: senior kaitlin williams: >> it would crush me to know that i have the same qualifications as someone, and i'm not getting into graduate school just because of my skin color. >> reporter: 27 years after heman sweatt's case went to court, his great nephew graduated from u.t. >> hopefully one day it is a point in time in which there is
no need of-- for affirmative action. however, i don't think we are there yet. >> reporter: the sweatt family hopes the supreme court agrees. anna werner, cbs news, dallas. >> pelley: today, a top state department official defended the level of security in place the night that the u.s. consulate in benghazi, libya, was attacked. ambassador christopher stevens and three other americans were killed by terrorists on the anniversary of september 11. sharyl attkisson reports a house committee opened a hearing on the attack today. >> reporter: the state department's eric nordstrom was the lead security official in libya and says he told his headquarters that getting adequate security was the hardest part of his dangerous job. >> it's not the hardships, not the gunfire, not the threats; it's dealing and fighting against the people, programs and personnel who are supposed to be supporting me.
and i added it by saying, "for me, the taliban is on the inside of the building." >> reporter: lieutenant colonel andrew wood headed a special military team whose mission ended and was not extended a month before the september 11 attack. he told us he felt the same frustration. so all the experts on the ground are telling headquarters at the state department "we need this," and the answer kept coming back as? >> "you've got to do with less." for what reasons, i don't know. >> reporter: charlene lamb is the state department official who declined the security request and today stood her ground. >> sir, we had the correct number of assets in benghazi at the time of 9/11 for what had been agreed upon. >> to start off by saying you had the correct number somehow doesn't seem to ring true to the american people. >> reporter: today, white house spokesman jay carney echoed the criticism. >> there is no question that when four american personnel are
killed in an attack on an diplomatic facility, that the security there was not adequate to-- to prevent that from happening. >> reporter: republicans, including mike kelly, also addressed the controversy over why the obama administration initially portrayed the terrorist attack as a spontaneous outbreak. >> why in the heck did it take so long for all these highly briefed and intelligent people to try and figure out that it actually wasn't a 15-minute youtube video, it actually was a 9/11 event, a terrorist attack? >> reporter: state department undersecretary patrick kennedy said there was no pressure to spin the events, scott, not at the state department and not at the white house. >> pelley: thank you, sharyl. president obama's counterterrorism advisor john brennan was in tripoli today. he asked libya's president to help find those who murdered the four americans. elizabeth palmer is in benghazi, piecing together for us what happened that night. >> reporter: tomorrow marks one
month since two americans died in the smoke and fire of the attack on the u.s. consulate's main building. but about two dozen others escaped that night under armed escort to another house nearby rented by the u.s. government. the americans evacuated from the consulate about a mile away would have come along this road and up to this gate, thinking they were coming to a safe refuge, never dreaming that it, too, was about to come under attack from mortars aimed with pinpoint accuracy-- so accurate that two more americans then died. security officials say the skill of that assault suggests a well- organized extremist group was responsible. and one name tops the list: ansar al-sharia, an armed radical group that had imposed rough islamic law in parts of benghazi until it was finally chased out of town last month by angry crowds. colonel hamid hassi, a senior libyan army officer, told us he
believes american intelligence knows exactly where they've gone. "the americans are watching ansar al-sharia all the time," he said, "from the sky." in fact, the colonel showed us video of the drones he said were circling just last week. asked, though, if he expected a u.s. missile strike soon, he said, "that would be a mistake. any strike would have to come from our side," he said, "or there would be huge problems between the u.s. and libya." a unilateral u.s. strike risks turning the sorrow and the sympathy that followed the death of ambassador chris stevens here into bitter resentment. elizabeth palmer, cbs news, benghazi. >> pelley: today, there are 27 days until the presidential election, and the race is as tight as it can get. today's gallup poll of likely voters has president obama at 48% and mitt romney at 48%.
john dickerson is our cbs news political director and, john, in the primaries, governor romney took a hard line against abortion except in cases of rape, incest or the health of the mother. but today, he said this in the "des moines register" newspaper: then, governor romney followed that with this today: >> i think i've said time and again i'm a pro-life candidate, i'll be a pro-life president. the actions i'll take immediately are to remove funding for planned parenthood. >> pelley: so, john, i wonder, can you help us untangle all of this? >> reporter: well, this is a very tricky issue for governor romney, who's about to arrive here in western ohio. he's had a number of positions on abortion. in these comments, when he was running for governor in the 1990s, he said he would protect
abortion rights, but now he has the opposite view. when people heard these comments to the "des moines register," they thought he was moderating his position. but if you looked at them closely, it didn't contradict anything he said in this campaign, and, indeed, his subsequent remarks back that up. but governor romney has been moderating his position or emphasizing the more moderate parts recently and down playing the conservative parts. he has pledged once in office that he'll do everything to restrict abortion rights. so this could be-- this moderation could be the good marketing that all candidates do once they get into a general election and have to appeal to a general election audience. but what the obama campaign says is, it's a bigger, broader strategy that on issues from medicare to taxes to now abortion, governor romney, who referred to himself as a "severe conservative," is now trying to hide that. >> pelley: john, thank you. for his part, in a radio interview, president obama tried to explain his debate performance of last week.
>> pelley: polite or not, the next debate is tomorrow night. it will be between the vice presidential candidates, and we'll bring it to you live beginning at 9:00 eastern time, and that's 6:00 here in the west. anti-doping officials lay out all of the evidence against lance armstrong, and a girl who stood up to the taliban is gunned down-- when the "cbs evening news" continues. inues. piccolo headphonesxels place to sleep little roadster war and peace deep sea diving ninja app hipster glasses 5% cash back sign up to get 5% everywhere online through december. only from discover. get coricidin hbp. the number one pharmacist recommended cold brand
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♪ whatever your business challenge, dell has the technology and services to help you solve it. >> pelley: cycling's biggest star, lance armstrong, was part of the most sophisticated doping program in the history of sports. that is according to a report today from the u.s. anti-doping agency, known as u.s.a.d.a. here is armen keteyian. >> reporter: the detailed report not only shattered armstrong's image but leaves no doubt that he and his entire u.s. postal service team were engaged in what u.s.a.d.a. called a systematic, sustained and highly professionalized doping conspiracy. travis tiger is the c.e.o. of u.s.a.d.a. >> this is the first time we've seen something this well organized, this sophisticated that was designed to cheat a sport and win. >> reporter: the anti-doping agency report is based upon more than a thousand pages of
evidence, including sworn testimony from ten u.s. postal service riders who had knowledge of armstrong's doping or doping by the team, plus financial payments, e-mails, scientific data and laboratory tests. tyler hamilton, who first detailed systematic doping on "60 minutes," was one of those ex-teammates to be interviewed. >> pelley: for the record, tell me what you saw in terms of what lance armstrong took in performance-enhancing drugs. >> he took what we all took. really no difference between lance armstrong and, say, the majority of the team. there was e.p.o., there was testosterone. i did see a transfusion, a blood transfusion. >> reporter: but unquestionably, the most damning testimony was provided by george hincapie, the only rider at armstrong's side
for all of his tour victories. hincapie was armstrong's long- time lieutenant and confidant. according to u.s.a.d.a., hincapie admitted he and armstrong repeatedly used illegal drugs like the blood- booster e.p.o., testosterone and blood transfusions, and that armstrong provided by e.p.o. to hincapie as recently as 2005. armstrong has long and vehemently denied the use of any performance-enhancing drugs. yesterday, one of his lawyers call the u.s.a.d.a. investigation a witch-hunt. armstrong insists his conscience is clean. scott? >> pelley: armen, thank you. there is an important development tonight in that european debt crisis that is cutting into the growth of the u.s. economy. late today, standard & poor's downgraded spain's credit rating to just above junk bond status. now it's going to be a lot more expensive for spain to finance its crushing debt, and spain is likely to need a bailout. the taliban tried to silence a
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>> pelley: malala yousafzai was just 11 when she took on the taliban after they took over the swat valley region of pakistan where she lived. the taliban have bombed girls' schools and intimidated those who don't follow a strict islamic code. malala fought back by speaking out. >> pelley: she became a star in pakistan and won a national award for bravery. in 2009, she met with the late richard holbrooke, the u.s. diplomat who was special enenvoy to the region. >> pelley: yesterday, taliban gunmen stopped her school bus and shot her in the head. doctors have worked to save her.
she's fighting for her life, but the taliban have said that if she survives, they'll come looking for her again. she had a three-hour operation to remove a bullet that was near her brain. she is still in critical condition tonight. in the pacific northwest, something happens everyday that brings an entire neighborhood to a standstill. "on the road" with steve hartman is next. is next. yeah. one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues with three strains of good bacteria. approved! [ female announcer ] live the regular life. phillips'. of using toothpaste to clean their denture.
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payday. next finally tonight, one of the most famous pieces in the america songbook and a man who made it his mission to play it every, single day. steve hartman stopped to listen "on the road." >> reporter: right when the sun calls it a day and starts setting on the puget sound, residents of this neighborhood in tacoma, washington, say they start hearing music, same time, same 24 notes. ♪ [ music ] >> reporter: a lot of people say it's the most poignant melody they have ever heard. >> when you hear the first note, everything in our house comes to a complete halt. >> people stop and go out, and i kind of let it wash over me. ♪ [ music ] >> reporter: although the notes have been played before from military funerals to boy scout campfires, rarely do you hear "taps" here coming from a back
porch in a suburban neighborhood. ♪ [ music ] >> i'm in another zone when i'm playing. i'm not aware of anything but the fact that i'm playing this and i'm trying to play it as best as i can, do a good job. ♪ [ music ] >> reporter: don brittain has been playing the trumpet when he was a kid and was even in a band for a while but never has taken it as seriously as he does now. every morning the 78-year-old retired aerospace worker checks the paper to see when the sunset is, and every afternoon he practices for his nightly performance. he has been doing this for the past two years, partly to show his appreciation for our military. >> support our guys over there fighting. >> reporter: did you serve in the war? >> no, i had polio when i was a kid so i couldn't serve. >> reporter: for him, that was one of the worst things about polio. >> i would have served in a heartbeat, you bet. >> reporter: yet his ritual is only partly for the soldiers. it's also for his neighbors, who now take it just as seriously as
he does. ♪ [ music ] >> reporter: as soon as they hear don start, they come out and stand at attention. ♪ [ music ] "taps" >> it seems to move people. it has an effect on them. >> it's very emotional for me. it's beautiful. >> we appreciate it. >> reporter: in our everyday hectic lives, there's almost nothing that gets people to stop like this, to honor or just reflect. but here in tacoma, they spend 24 notes nightly doing exactly that. steve hartman, "on the road" in tacoma, washington. >> and that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, i'm scott pelley in los angeles. good night. captions by: caption colorado firstname.lastname@example.org >> your realtime captioner: linda marie macdonald good evening, i'm dana
king. >> i'm allen martin. congressional hearings began today on the deadly attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi libya. state department officials insisted that the compound was adequately protected. and they said extra security would not have helped. but many lawmakers say that is nonsense. including senator dianne feinstein. she spoke exclusively today with cbs 5 reporter phil matier. phil. >> reporter: yes. it was an interesting day. dianne feinstein, the u.s. senator from california, was in town this morning. and she had some rather interesting questions regarding what happened in libya. here's the story. >> clearly there was not enough security. >> reporter: that was the opinion of u.s. senator dianne feinstein chair of the intelligence committee on the ongoing question of whether there was adequate security at the u.s. consulate in benghazi before that attack that killed four americans including u.s. ambassador chris stevens.